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GE PEM31SFSS: A Microwave Oven that Stands Out from its Peers

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If you’ve not heard of General Electric (GE), you must have been living in another planet all this while :). Whether or not you have a GE appliance at home, I’m sure you’ve heard of the brand before.

To most people, GE is commonly associated with superb lighting products. I can understand if doubtful is your reaction to the mention of GE microwave oven. That had been my reaction too.

In this review, I don’t want to focus so much on the technical specification of the GE PEM31SFSS Stainless steel countertop microwave. That’s been well covered in numerous microwave oven reviews. Instead, I’d like to share a personal story as someone who had put this microwave to the test and seen first hand how it works.

Ready to roll? Let’s get started!

Highlights of GE PEM31SFSS Microwave Oven

Few Basics to Start With

GE PEM31SFSS microwave oven has a 1.1 cu. ft. capacity and runs on 800 watts. The brand new set comes with a nice trim kit that can be installed under the cabinets. This will save some counter space.

It also has sensor cooking controls and a weight and time defrost mode. This unit has the handy turntable inside that helps food cook more evenly, but this function can be turned off.

I really like that it comes in tan, white, black and silver. Whatever color scheme you have for your kitchen, there is a great color option to match.

Nothing looks worse than a bright-white microwave sitting on the counter of a kitchen decorated in soothing earth tones. Another plus for me is it fit, after a bit of work, into the space that once housed my GE Spacemaker microwave.

This microwave oven isn’t as deep as most models at just 12 inches, but it was the perfect oven for me because of the way my kitchen is currently configured. I got the trim kit to give it the finished look I wanted.

While it’s only a four piece kit, I’d advise recruiting some help with holding the unit while it’s being pushed into place, and the plug gets inserted in the outlet because this unit is a bit awkward to work with. It took some pushing and shoving to get it to fit under the cabinet properly.

Placement idea for GE microwave ovenBeautiful placement of GE stainless steel microwave oven

How Did My Experiments Go?

Once it was in place, I began to experiment with its ability to cook food since that’s the reason I bought it after my old model ceased to function and took the final long ride to the recycle center. I’m happy to report that, so far, everything has been a success.

I started out with potatoes. Why potato? Because potato tends to be one of the harder things to do correctly in a microwave. I will disclose that I have a bag to cook my potatoes in, and both baking and sweet potatoes cooked quickly and evenly in this model.

There were no hard spots, and no odd taste that sometimes comes with potatoes that are “nuked.”

After the potato test, I moved on to fresh vegetables. The broccoli came out tender and still quite green after three minutes of cooking time, so that was a good thing. Carrots also did well and so did a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash with a bit of onion.

I also performed the warming of the bread test. This microwave also passed this because a 15 second cycle didn’t turn dinner rolls into hockey pucks. It also passed the heat and eat frozen dinner test. The meal came out evenly cooked and nothing was hard around the edges, so I considered that a win. It’s too small, however, to accommodate more than one meal at a time.

In general, I only use a microwave to reheat meat, and I can report that it did this just fine. For the sake of being fair, I did try to actually cook chicken and fish. I used zipper bags designed for this purpose and tossed in some marinade. The meat steamed nicely, was properly cooked and quite moist. It came as a nice surprise to know this could actually work on nights when everyone is heading in different directions.

Cooking with GE popular microwave ovenControl panel view of GE PEM31SFSS microwave oven

Final Words

GE may not be the first brand to occur in most people’s mind when it comes to microwave oven selection. Its price tag makes it a more expensive alternative to Panasonic’s best-selling Genius Prestige.

Overall, I’d give GE PEM31SFSS microwave a 4 out of 5. I’m giving it a little bit of a ding, because the process of making it fit under the cabinet was pretty difficult considering the trim kit only had four pieces and the unit itself isn’t that big.

But if you don’t wish to have the exact same microwave as what everyone else is having, a GE microwave oven would be recommended.